Favorite Books of 2014

Bunny BookPicking out my favorite books from this year was almost impossible. It was like finding microscopically larger gems in a giant pile of gems. But, I whittled it down to some of my absolute favorites. A few weren’t released this year because I’m woefully behind at working my way through the giant pile of books on my nightstand. Sorry newer releases, you’ve been pushed to the next literary year. Continue reading

Blacksad

blacksad-canvas16x21-webRecently a comic book has grabbed me by the collar with its incredible command of story, art, and character. It also helps that it is hard-boiled detective noir starring anthropomorphic animals.

Blacksad is created by Spanish authors Juan Díaz Canales (writer) and Juanjo Guarnido (artist) for a French publisher. Set in 1950’s America, the adventures of John Blacksad draw from history, culture, music, and the fears of the era. They’re all wrapped up in a gorgeous package of impeccable storytelling and shades of beautiful watercolor. Continue reading

A Bit of Jazz

While I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert, jazz has always been something I love. There’s a rebellious elegance in the way it flaunts convention in favor of wild and fearless experimentation. It encompasses such a wide array of tunes that you can find anything from the elegantly lyrical (‘Round About Midnight) to the maddeningly obtuse (Anything by Sun Ra).

But jazz has always been a somewhat intimidating genre that people don’t quite know where to start. Even though NPR created the excellent Basic Jazz Record Library, I figured I’d toss my guitar pick into the ring and share a few of my favorite jazz songs, albums, and artists. Continue reading

Surfing Lessons

It’s cold out and whenever that happens, my mind tends to wander towards the beach and the ocean I love so much. Specifically it turns to surfing. I’ve developed a habit of watching surf movies throughout the winter as a way of warding off the cold feeling that creeps into your bones. Something about the warm sunset colors and lapping sound of waves that warms me up.

Anyway, like many things, surfing can be an eloquent metaphor useful for just about any situation. Life, love, writing, dinner prep, animal husbandry. I personally like to apply it to writing, but feel free to take it any way you like.

Surfing for many years has taught me quite a lot. So, if I may, here are five surfing lessons that may help you in every other way besides actually standing up on a surfboard. Continue reading